The Symbolism of Revelation
Even the most conscientious and diligent student of the Bible will admit that not all Biblical passages are easy to understand. And this is especially true when it comes to Revelation, the last book of the Bible written by the apostle John, while he was in exile on the island of Patmos, a small island in the Aegean Sea near the west coast of Turkey.
Falling as it does into the genre of apocalyptic literature, Revelation is one of the most perplexing and misunderstood books ever written.
The language and style of apocalyptic literature is not literal but highly dramatic in order to get its message across in a way that sears itself onto the human brain. Revelation's often bewildering and sometimes bizarre array of symbols... angels with trumpets and bowls, beasts emerging from the sea, locusts shaped like horses with tails like scorpions, waters turning to blood, a bottomless pit, dragons with seven heads, a woman sitting on a scarlet beast etc. describes cataclysmic events in a way is neither underestimated, nor soon forgotten.
However, Revelation was never intended to be a kind of puzzle in which every symbol has to be cleverly interpreted. While we should endeavor to understand as many of the details as possible, the broad brush strokes are not only of paramount importance but relatively simple to understand. Because the book of Revelation gives us a general idea as to what to expect, it helps prepare believers for difficult times. The fundamental message... the thread that runs through the entire book is an assurance that, ultimately, God will prevail and establish His kingdom here on earth which is the eternal 'Heaven" promised us.
Although often seen as the territory of the lunatic fringe, Revelation is, in reality, our only beacon of hope. I Suggest you read Overview of Revelation
Revelation 17:1-18... The Great Harlot
Introduction... The Chronology of Revelation
The Woman John saw
When John spoke of the Great City, was he referring to the Original Babylon, the Roman Catholic Church, Jerusalem OR something else far more widespread?
From Babel to Babylon
Roots of Apostasy... The Tower of Babel otherwise called Babylon
The Two Kingdoms
five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come
Revelation 18:1-24... Destruction of The Great City
Religion and Commerce... Two Systems That Have Much In Common
The Striking Parallels Between Chapters 17 And 18
Summary and Conclusion
A Dragon and Two Beasts
The first emerged from the sea and described the rise of the final world empire (Vs. 1-9). However, the second half of the chapter (Vs. 10-18) describes another beast that emerged from the earth which can only be the final world leader.